There are many horror stories around about unregistered people carrying out work which they are not qualified or registered to do. When planning electrical work in the home, it is important that the right person carries out the work. This isn't just looking at the bottom line price, it is about what you get for what you pay for and most importantly that the electrician carrying out the work is qualified and registered to do so.
The good electricians out there take pride in their work and have built up a solid reputation based on many years of hard work, there are also many keen electricians who are new to the industry who are anxious to make a good impression. Trade Skills 4U have put together some top tips to help find a reputable 17th edition electrician or domestic installer.
The first consideration is to know where to start looking. Many reputable electricians are found by word of mouth, so if a friend or neighbour has had work carried out on their own homes and they were happy this is a good start. If you do not have a reputable electrician in mind, a good starting point is to consult the Electrical Safety Register or ElectricSafe Register, which have been developed by the leading organisations in the electrical industry. All electricians on the registers have been assessed against rigorous standards for your reassurance.
Most people do not check that their electrician is qualified. This is fundamental to ensure your electrician is who they say they are. All reputable electricians are happy to show you the qualifications they hold. Typically qualifications are either C&G or NVQ detailing the extent of the qualifications and when they were issued. Don’t be put off if your electrician is newly qualified, remember their skills and regulation knowledge will be well up to date.
Secondly, a reputable electrician will be happy to tell you about their Part P registration and which electrical governing body they are registered with. The 3 most common are the NICEIC, NAPIT and ELECSA. Trade Skills 4U recommend that you check directly with the governing body that your electrician is registered. Normally this is possible to do on line on the respective websites. Always look up the information independently to ensure the information you are looking at is genuine.
Before agreeing to have work carried out in your home, Trade Skills 4U recommend obtaining at least 3 quotations from reputable electricians. This will give you a good idea of the approximate costs of the electrical work. Ensure the quotation details the work the electrician will be undertaking and the cost of materials. Many people unwittingly accept a cheap quotation to find that materials are not included or there are 'extras' to pay for afterwards in order to deem the job complete i.e. certification.
Do not be afraid to ask the electrician questions. Many electricians will have a portfolio of work to show you or work done for past customers they are happy to show you. Also check on first impressions, does their work wear display their company logo? This shows pride. Do they turn up on time when they say to carry out the quotation? Do they have a sign written van, if not this could mean they are carrying out work for several different 'trades' for which they are not qualified. Remember a reputable electrician will want to tell as many people as possible they are an electrician, not trying to hide it! If something doesn’t feel right or you feel pushed into having the work done, it will be best to walk away.
Know exactly what you are paying for before accepting a quotation, such as what kind of guarantee the work will have. Most work is covered by a guarantee issued by the electrical governing body the electrician is registered with. This means that if a problem develops in the future and you cannot contact the electrician who carried out the work, you can go to the governing body directly and they will find an electrician to carry out the work on your behalf. Other questions to ask is whether the price includes VAT. If it doesn't, it can make the price appear cheaper when actually it may work out more expensive when adding the VAT onto the cost. Finally, always check the electrician has insurance, this is your peace of mind that should a mistake or error occur (and it can happen) that the insurance is valid and a claim can be made.
Spending some time choosing the right electrician for your electrical job can save you a lot of stress and expense. Householders who have been on the receiving end of an unscrupulous trades person always wish they'd done more research before hand.